I will never bend to its will

I will never bend to it’s will

I will never bend to its will, to my mental illness. These things help me stay on top of the fight

Just days ago I celebrated my forty-fifth birthday. With another year tacked on in this one way trip, I can’t help but reflect on my life. I suppose natural as we age and as far as I can tell, it’s a good thing.

Of course, I find my first thought being that of, “where did the time go.” I mean, man, I’m keeping close to living half a century.

Even though many people find this though stressful, I, on the other hand am damn lucky to be here. For I have very nearly opted to end my life-long struggle with my taxing mental pain. However, I often here myself saying, “I will never bend to its will.

By this I mean, I will keep fighting depresson’s speak, anxiety insistence that it wants to be my friend, and PTSD, well, F@#$ you too! Luckily, I have built a great support system, both through personal connection and professional help.

Ways to alleviate mental illness

It goes almost without saying that this is the foundation for my resolve; because of them, I will keep moving forward. At the same time, I know that I may never escape from the long arm of my mental health conditions; it’s imperative that I am honest with myself about that. Yes, I will have episodes of depression, traumatic episodes too, but I accept that.

The question for me then became; How do I manage these mental illness episodes?

Much to my relief, it turns out that a lot can be done.

For starters, exercise is what I call mother nature’s medication for me. Hitting the gym four days a week is an amazing mood booster. Not only does it boost my mood, it gives me energy to boot.

benefits of exercise

Read:You can’t ignore PTSD

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What this does for me is hold me accountable to ensure that I will never bow to its will, this painful thing called mental illness.

Additionally, I have found mindfulness to be a lifesaver in a sense; although I must admit that the noise of the outside world overruns my attempts to be “in the moment”. Despite this, I find it successful when in low to moderate stimulation.

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Perhaps one of the most beneficial things that help me cope is a good diet. Despite knowing that, on the surface, I know eating well is good for you; I personally failed to see just how well a balanced diet works to alleviate mental illness symptoms… It really is transformational.

So, there you have it, the three main tools I implement to minimize my depressive and PTSD episodes. Why not try for yourself and see?

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Simple things

The simple things that matter.

When it comes to healing, it really is the simple things that matter.

Sometimes, I can’t help but think of the days when I was an active member of my local Volunteer Fire Department. Those days taught me so much in so many ways. Overall though, it made me a much better human being. While this may be true; it has also left a permanent psychological scar, right where my hopes and dreams used to reside; and honestly, I hate it!

Regardless of how much I loathe this injury, there is little I can do about the choices I made to join the fire service at the young age of nineteen; none of us can go back in time.

Likewise, I will never be able to bring back those who lost their lives, many, way before their time. So then, what do I do? I have indeed been working my ass off to try to get back to the land of the living; man I miss those days. But alas, like that of my past, there is little I can do. By that I mean, I can’t snap my fingers and wish the mental pain instantly away.

On second thought, maybe it’s not there’s little I can do but rather, it’s the little things I can do. If this is the case, then  I have worked on a ton of these little things that have added up over time.

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING.

A great example of this is a simple technique I learned in therapy. In fact, the idea is so simple that I thought; “that won’t work.” happily, I was wrong. See, sometimes it’s good to be wrong.

Simple things you can do to boost your mental health.

the simple things that matter.

As many of you may know, nightmares are synonymous with PTSD, they rob one of their sleep and constantly terrify them in the process. This easy to-do task is this: When you awake from a nightmare, take note of anything and everything in the room; try to include As much detail as you can. So, got a nightstand full of knick-knacks sitting on the top? Describe all of them, shape size and colour. The very act of doing this forces your focus on the here and now; the “now” is where the healing happens. And if for some reason you’re still awake, keep mentally moving around the room. See, simple and, personally, very effective. It really is the simple things that matter. I highly recommend it.

Another useful tool to try is simple exercises. Walks are like mother nature’s medication and… it’s free! Take that big pharma. Despite this one being seemingly obvious, it can seem monumentally difficult to initiate. However, you can’t beat the price and over time, your noggin will love you for it. Try getting a friend or a loved one on board, it will make this venture a lot easier.

TRAINED AS BIG PICTURE THINKERS, IT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO SEE THAT THE SOLUTION IS OFTEN THE SIMPLEST ONE.

Thirdly, don’t take this life you’ve been given for granted, take stock of all things, big and small that you love and cherish. For me, my family is everything and when we are together, I do my best to soak up every memory made with them. Love, it’s simple and not limited. Our animals are our pet therapy and it’s so easy to get lost in their unconditional loyalty. What I love about taking stock is that it places you in the present and it does so without very little effort.

In conclusion, I really do think it’s the simple things that matter. Not only do they matter because life is too short, they pay off big time as you travel down the road to mental wellness.

If you or someone you know is looking to find people with Military and emergency service backgrounds that also have PTSD. This book is for you. Lemonade Stand Vol. III is a collection of authors who have paid the ultimate personal price for their service, ending up with PTSD.

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A difference a day makes

a difference a day makes.

As I wake to greet a brand new day, I breathe a sigh of relief. And in the first few minutes, I’ve been awake, I am already feeling better than I did yesterday. And as the day progresses, My sprits remain high; because of this, I can’t help but think what a difference a day makes.

Yesterday, I spent the majority of my day sleeping. I cared little for the beautiful day that lay just beyond my window. Having made the decision to have my kids shelter in place with their mother weeks ago, I have found my mood slipping more and more as of late.

Although in my heart, I made the right decision, knowing that does little to ease the pain of missing them. I find some moments, hours and even some days unbearable. All I want is to hug them and breath in the simple things that matter most, their love.

Dealing with mental illness and isolation.

How I learned to ride the wave.

When it comes to my mental health, I am faced with some pretty tough challenges, ones that don’t get better overnight. PTSD, for example, is relentless, cruel and unforgiving; It’s all things that keep me up at night. However, I have managed to find ways to cope through my depressive episodes, flashbacks and the overstimulating effects that come with interacting with the wider world.

With that said, sometimes coping skills like mindfulness, exercise and cognitive behavioural approaches just don’t work and I find my self drowning in a sea of mental despair. These are the Staple coping strategies I use. Not foolproof, but then nonetheless help me out significantly.

Thankfully, I have come to realize that even the most challenging episodes always pass; all I have to do is ride the wave and bear its brunt. Once the storm passes, I am able to employ the above skills I have learned in therapy.

Overall, I have learned that while in the peak of the mental storm, it’s ok to shut down; it’s not something that needs to be solved, it just is what it is. Like me, you’ll be ok too. Tomorrow, you will see a difference a day makes.

Why do we feel like its wrong?

In a quest for the answer to this question, I have come to a few conclusions. Firstly, When a mental illness has control over the way we feel, it has control over the way we think; highjacking our neurology is what it does best and sabotage is its game.

When we are overcome with mental illness, it tells us that we are not good people and convinces us that worthless in the process. Moreover, it seems the lager the episode, the larger the worthlessness and guilt we feel. Do we know this is not true? Of course, does it make us feel better when in these darker moments? Of course not. Ah, the power of the mind to turn on itself; almost like an autoimmune disease, when the body turns on itself.

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Secondly, Stigma plays a role in the intensity of the guilt we feel. This shame exacerbates the intensity of the dread that we feel. After all, our ability to keep ourselves going is how we measure our worth as people.

A difference a day makes

However incorrect this assumption may be, we nonetheless allow it to dominate and define us and as a result, we hate ourselves when our mental health takes a huge hit.

I for one will no longer be at the mercy of stigma’s mythology; my pain is already enough on its own. It really doesn’t matter what people think, especially when they are wrong.

So, remember, sometimes we have to ride the wave and wait for tomorrow. It really is amazing, a difference a day makes. You and I have survived 100% of our worst days, therefore, we can do it again. We are mental health warriors.

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